Wednesday, March 1, 2017

What is safe if Rome perishes

From The End of the World by Otto Freidrich.
Saint Jerome, born Eusebius Sophronius Hiernoymus, the greatest Christian scholar of his day and the first to translate the Bible into Latin, was working on his commentary on Ezekiel in a hillside cell near Bethlehem in the year of our Lord 410 when he heard that the city of Rome had been besieged, assaulted, conquered and sacked by barbarians, by Alaric, King of the Visigoths. Rome, where Jerome had studied poetry and rhetoric and the philosophy of Plato, where he had attended the courts of law and listened to skilled advocates pleading their cases in the Forum, was an impregnable citadel no longer. the fall reverberated from one end of the Mediterranean to the other. "Quid salvum est si Roma perit?" Jerome wrote to a friend. What is safe if Rome perishes.

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